Saturday, July 17, 2010

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Excited really doesn't even cover it. This trip will be my 30 something-ith trip and I'm more excited to stay at the hotel than I've ever been before. We will be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a Savannah View Room which means I have a shot of viewing some of the animals listed below.

Zoology is a passion of mine and I've been accepted twice to Santa Fe Community College in Ganesville Florida for their Teaching Zoo Zoology program.
The first time my parents wouldn't fund it because they didn't think I was serious so I had to back out and the second time right after I applied and was accepted I found out I was pregnant with Patrick.
I'm not done with that dream though and I know at some point I'll get that degree.

I've volunteered at both the Central Park Zoo and the NY Aquarium in Brooklyn. Both were AMAZING programs that had some of the most stupendous training to teach us about the animals. When the kids are bigger I will apply to volunteer at the Central Park Zoo again. I loved it that much.

I have a head of animal facts and information and can tell the difference between an African and Asian Elephant. I know what makes a Sea Lion and Seal different and can tell you more about Red Pandas than you ever wanted to know. Don't go to the zoo with me unless you want me to share facts with you and you don't mind my getting excited by Rhinos and Boa Constrictors.

Tell me that I'm going to Disney World and will have a room with a balcony that overlooks Giraffe, Zebra, and Red River Hogs and I'm a happy happy woman. Happy as in, I'm WAY more excited to get to the hotel than I am to go to any of the parks.
Below are some of the animals we will have a chance to see. The animal names are hyper links to their Wiki pages...

The following animals may be found on at least one of the three Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannas:
Ankole Cattle -Ankole-Watusi is a breed of cattle originally native to Africa. It has very large, distinctive horns, which can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long. The animal is sometimes known as Ankole or Watusi, and is one of the Sanga group of types.

Bongo (Antelope) -Bongos are characterized by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiraled horns. Indeed, bongos are the only Tragelaphid  in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics.

Blesbok -The Blesbok or Blesbuck (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) is a purplish antelope with a distinctive white face and forehead. Its white face is the origin of its name, because bles is the Afrikaans word for blaze. Although it is a close relative of the Bontebok  (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas) and can interbreed with it, creating an animal known as the Bontebles, it does not have the same habitat. The Blesbok is indigenous to South Africa and is found in large numbers in all national parks with open grasslands, from the Transvaal Highveld, through the Free State veld, to as far south as the Eastern Cape. It is a plains species and dislikes wooded areas. It was first discovered in the 17th-century, in numbers so numerous that herds reached from horizon to horizon.

Eland -The Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx), also known as the Southern Eland or Eland antelope, is a Savannah  and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa.

Grant's Zebra - The Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) is the smallest of six subspecies of the Plains Zebra.

Greater Kudu -The Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is a woodland  antelope  found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas, due to a declining habitat, deforestation and hunting.

Impala -An impala (Aepyceros melampus Greek αιπος, aipos "high" κερος, ceros "horn" + melas "black" pous "foot") is a medium-sized African antelope. The name impala comes from the Zulu language meaning "Gazelle". They are found in savannas  and thick bushveld in Kenya, Tanzania, Swaziland, Mozambique, northern Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, southern Angola, northeastern South Africa and Uganda. Impalas can be found in numbers of up to 2.000.000 in Africa

Reticulated Giraffe -The Somali Giraffe, or more commonly known as Reticulated Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata), is a subspecies of giraffe native to Somalia, but is also widely found in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. Reticulated giraffes can interbreed with other giraffe subspecies in captivity or if populations are low in the wild.

The reticulated giraffe is the most well-known of the nine giraffe subspecies, and is by far the giraffe most commonly seen in zoos. Its coat consists of large, polygonal liver-colored spots outlined by a network of bright white lines. The blocks may sometimes appear deep red and may also cover the legs. The extraordinary height of giraffes is attributed to a ritual known as "necking" where two males fight for reproduction rights by slamming their necks into one another. The giraffes with the tallest and strongest necks are victorious and allowed to reproduce, thus passing these genes on to future generations.

Thomson's Gazelle - The Thomson's gazelle (Eudorcas thomsonii) is one of the best-known gazelles. It is named after explorer Joseph Thomson and, as a result, is sometimes referred to as a "tommie".  It is considered by some to be a subspecies of the Red-fronted Gazelle and was formerly considered a member of the genus Gazella within the subgenus Eudorcas, before Eudorcas was elevated to genus status.  Thomson's gazelles can be found in numbers exceeding 500 000  in Africa and are recognised as the most common type of gazelle in East Africa.

Waterbuck - The Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) is an antelope found in Western, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.

Red River Hogs -The red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus), also known as the bush pig (but not to be confused with P. larvatus, common name "bushpig"), is a wild member of the pig family  living in Africa, with most of its distribution in the Guinean and Congolian forests. It is rarely seen away from rain forests, and generally prefers areas near rivers or swamps.[2]

Red river hogs eat grass, berries, roots, insects, mollusks, small vertebrates and carrion. They are capable of causing damage to plantations. Red river hogs typically live in herds of 6-20 members led by a dominant boar. Sows rear 3-6 piglets at a time.

White-Bearded Wildebeest - The white-bearded wildebeest is mainly at home in the Serengeti  desert of Africa. Kenya is the main home. The white-bearded wildebeest is endangered and depends on natural resources of a natural habitat to reproduce.

Many wildebeests are also in safari parks which cater to their needs. Wildebeests are water dependent and grazing, trampling and manuring the grasses on which they feed stimulates new growth as long as the ground has sufficient moisture.

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

 East African Crowned Crane

Greater Flamingo

Marabou Stork - 
As a very random aside, Marabou Storks are some of my favorite birds as they were illustrated in a story my mother used to read to me as a little girl called Johnny Crow's Garden and when I see them this image is all I think of.

Ostrich -

Pink-Backed Pelican -

Ruppel's Griffon Vulture -

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome close up pictures! Amazing.